Vintage Bentley most expensive British car ever sold, for £5m

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2015-06-26 10:31:11

Vintage Bentley most expensive British car ever sold, for £5m

2 Jul 2012, 11:00 GMT+01

Bonhams’ Collectors’ Motor Cars and Automobilia auction at the Goodwood Festival of Speed saw several impressive results.

A record was made for the most expensive British car ever sold at auction, by a car that was a record breaker in its day – the ex-Sir Henry ‘Tim’ Birkin 1929 41/2 litre supercharged Blower Bentley single-seater. The car that raced the Brooklands Outer Circuit record up to 137mph fetched £5,042,000 on the 29th June auction.

Sir Henry Tim Birkin, a baronet, represents the epitome of the 1920s-30s Bentley Boys image. Sporting goggles, wind cap and polka dot scarf flying out behind him, he was the classic British, gentlemanly, competitive sportsman. His Bentley, one of only 54 built, was sold as part of the collection of renowned classic car enthusiast, horologist George Daniels. Daniels was a Birkin fan, and the sale of his collection also included Birkin’s 1932 Alfa Romeo 8C-2300 Long Chassis Touring Spider, sold for £2,689,500.

The second highest achiever was a 1912 Rolls-Royce 40/50hp Silver Ghost Double Pullman Limousine, known as ‘The Corgi’, sold for another record-breaking price of £4,705,500. This model, established in 1906, was regarded as the finest automobile in the world. Usually driven by a chauffeur, it would also occasionally be taken out by owners with an interest in driving. This example was modified without a division window, suggesting the desire for communication between the driver and the passengers. This is the only known Silver Ghost with the stunning coachwork of Barker. The Corgi is so well known due to the Mettoy models that a whole generation of children grew up playing with.

An iconic Floretta with impressive provenance: racer Wil-de-Gose, RAF pilot John Pole, Sam Clutton, Dr Bob Ewen, Jack Williamson, and George Daniels, the 1908 Itala Grand Prix car, sold for £1,737,500.

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